Unfortunately, there is a common misunderstanding amongst the people that when it is Yowm ul Arafah in Saudi Arabia, the whole world has to celebrate Eid ul Adha on the next day. No evidence for this can be found in our Holy Shariah.
The principle prescribed by our Holy Shariah for determining Eid ul Adha is the same as that for determining any other month: one should attempt to sight the moon at the beginning of the month. If the moon is sighted locally or reliable news of sighting is received from outside, then the new month will commence, otherwise thirty days will be declared for the month. In the case of Eid ul Adha, once reliable news has been received for the month of Zil Hijjah in the locality one resides in, then the tenth day of the month will be declared as Eid Ul Adha.
The calendar of Saudi Arabia will have no effect whatsoever in determining Eid Ul Adha in countries outside Saudi Arabia. Those who are living outside Saudi Arabia such as ourselves, should be following a lunar calendar of our own country.
“All the scholars are unanimous that Eid Ul Adha is on the 10th of Zil Hijjah which is determined by the sighting in each locality, and not on the 10th of Zil Hijjah in Makkah”
This is a fact which has been emphasised by Fataawaa from leading Ulama like Sheikh Saleh Ibn AlUthaimeen RH, and Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmaani Saheb (Deputy chairman Islamic Fiqh Academy, OIC, Jeddah), and others. They do not think that it is necessary to observe Eid ul Adha worldwide after the day of Arafah in Saudi Arabia. (See the Fataawaa at: www.jas.org.jo/hilaal)
It is a historical fact that the calendars of Makkah and Madinah were not the same even in the era of our beloved Nabi SAW. Discussing the date of Nabi Sallal lahu alaihi Wasallam’s departure from this world, Imam Maazaree R.A. and Hafiz Ibn Katheer R.A. have written, “There is the possibility that the people of Makkah saw the Hilal of Zil Hijjah on a Thursday whilst the people of Madinah saw it on the Friday...” (Fiqhi Jawahir Vol 1 pg 35, Sheikh Ul Hadith Mufti Umar Farooq Saheb DB) This would mean that the month of Zil Hijjah commenced on separate dates in both Holy Cities. Therefore, Eid Ul Adha would have been celebrated on different days in both Holy Cities, reiterating the point that you must follow the calendar of the place where you are residing, and also that, it is NOT necessary that after Yowm ul Arafah in Saudi Arabia, it has to be Eid ul Adha every where in the world.
On this issue one may also ponder over the following points:
· Neither our Nabi Sallal lahu alaihi Wasallam nor the Khulafa e Rashideen EVER attempted to synchronise the Eid Ul Adha date in Madinah with the Hajj date in Makkah. Ten nights and nine days were enough to send a messenger from Makkah to Madinah with the news, but there is no evidence of any such effort
· Eid Ul Adha was instituted in the year 2 AH whilst Hajj became obligatory in the year 9 AH. This clearly indicates that there is no real connection between Hajj and Eid Ul Adha.
· Nabi Sallal lahu alaihi Wasallam stayed in Madinah for Ten years offering his sacrifice. (Tirmidhi). Nabi Sallal lahu alaihi Wasallam sacrificed on the tenth day in Madinah.(Baihiqi). (The Sacrifice was not done according to the Makkah date).
· For over 1200 years of Islamic history it was impossible for Muslims in far away countries like Indonesia to find the Hajj date in time for Eid Ul Adha. Allah SWT would never burden the Human Being with a responsibility which was impossible to fulfil. The Holy Qur’aan states “Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope” Al Baqarah verse 286.